More than 270,000 of the poorest households in England face council tax hikes of £80 a year as the government's safety net is withdrawn, a survey of local authorities has revealed.
Using freedom of information requests, research for the Joseph Rowntree Trust has found that from April another 48 local authorities are reducing protection for vulnerable residents.
Ministers cut funding for the means-tested benefit by £500m, around 10% of the total, last April and instructed local authorities to decide how the reduced benefit should be distributed.
However, to cushion the blow ministers offered £100m in subsidies to councils that designed schemes that would offer some protection to the poor. This scheme has not been renewed, with the result that this year will be the first that the government will no longer provide a dedicated stream of cash to take the poorest out of council tax.
The result of this – and further cuts to local authority budgets – is that more than a quarter of a million working-age households will see bills rise by an average of £78 a year, taking the amount of yearly council tax that they will have to pay to £176.The true nastiness of this government is becoming clear, as 'safety nets' are taken away and who will be most affected by Osborne's bloodthirst becomes clear - the poorest and most vulnerable. Afterall, they would never vote Tory, would they? I think the scorecard needs to be updated ... that'll teach him!!
-1 ... Local government cuts, ordered by central government, hitting the poor.
-1 ... Taking 500 Syrian refugees, which acknowledges there is a catastrophe, but only doing enough to generate a positive headline in the Daily Mail. Was even Tony Blair this disgustingly cynical?OVERALL: -6/10 Their heartless and wrong-headed domestic agenda and their humanitarianism-as-PR gives a truly nasty edge to the coalition.